20 years since hitting number one, how does ‘The Sunscreen Song’ sound today? 4 years ago

20 years since hitting number one, how does ‘The Sunscreen Song’ sound today?

It’s been 20 years since Baz Luhrmann’s Sunscreen Song was number one in the Irish charts, but does his advice still resonate in 2019?

“Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99 - wear sunscreen.”


If you remember the '90s, chances are these lyrics are pretty familiar.

They’re the opening words from Australian director Baz Luhrmann's hit 'Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)', also known as ‘The Sunscreen Song’.

His lyrics were based upon a Chicago Tribune essay published two years earlier, with added music by electronic musician Rozalla.

It flew to the top of the charts in Ireland and the UK, hitting the number one spot here on 6 June 1999, staying there for the next two weeks.


A lot has happened since then, in Ireland and further afield.

But does 'The Sunscreen Song' still offer some insightful advice?

Let’s take a look...


Clip via steffyweffy777

"If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it"

Considering the planet has gotten considerably hotter over the past two decades thanks to climate change, sunscreen is still pretty important.

"You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded, but trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself, and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before, you and how fabulous you really looked"


Don’t worry, you can still use pictures of you from 20 years ago nowadays on Tinder.

Not catfishing, technically.

"The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday"

These can be easily drowned out with podcasts.

"Do one thing everyday that scares you"


People are anxious all the time now, sorry Baz.

"Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours"

Or people who ghost you.

"Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements"

Imagine trying to explain to someone in 1999 that these would both be sent to your mobile phone in the not so distant future.

Their mind would be blown.

"Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life, the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't"

Thanks to the gig economy, most 22-year-olds don’t know for certain what they’ll be doing in three months' time.

"Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary"

Maybe you’ll be dabbing at your 75th wedding anniversary.

"Dance... even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room"

With the amount of nightclubs being shut down in Dublin these days, this might soon be a reality.

"Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly"

RIP print journalism.

"Be nice to your siblings, they are the best link to your past, and the people most likely to stick with you in the future"

Even if they tag you in embarrassing posts.

"Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard, live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft"

If you’re able to enter the United States in the first place.

"You too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble"

I don’t think anyone will look back on 2019 and remember it for noble politicians or reasonable prices...